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What CMOs Need to Know About Data Informed Content Marketing

March 15, 2017

By Lee Odden

Driven by trends in lower performing advertising and changing consumer behaviors, many marketers have embraced content with the majority of companies adopting the practice.

According to CMI and MarketingProfs 2017 Content Marketing Benchmark report, the most successful B2B marketers spend an average of 39% of their marketing budget on content marketing and 39% plan on increasing spending in 2017.

However, even with the promise of greater marketing performance through content, organizations are challenged to produce a variety of engaging content on a consistent basis and there are a few key reasons why:

  • 41% of marketers are clear on what an effective content marketing program looks like
  • 36% are somewhat committed or not committed at all
  • 75% are minimally or moderately successful at content marketing

What’s missing in the content marketing success equation where clarity is not so clear, commitment is not in full force and most companies think their success needs improvement?


A study by Forrester reports that companies only analyze 12 percent of the data they have available.

While there are numerous resources available from platforms to best practices, many marketers implement a sizable percentage of their content creation efforts based on something other than data. A 2016 study by Conductor found that 38% of content marketers rarely use data and 45% of B2C content marketers don’t target their content.

When it comes to content, creators are traditionally more art than science and using data to guide editorial planning is still not an advanced skill for many companies. In many other cases, content creators don’t have access to analysts to interpret data in a meaningful way or the tools and training to do it themselves.

Despite these obstacles, an international study by GDMA and the Winterberry Group, found that 80% of respondents believe customer data is critical to their marketing and advertising efforts. Top digital marketing executives agree:

“If you aren’t using data to inform your content strategy, what are you using? Gut feeling, testing, and / or creative epiphany should drive no more than 25% of your content efforts. The rest should be driven by understanding what content is resulting in conversions, assisted conversions, traffic from search and social, and what your audiences are looking for online in relation to your business offering.”
Jolina Pettice (/in/jolina-pettice) Vice President at TopRank Marketing

For some companies most of the available data to direct content creation comes from a variety of sources. There is value in understanding customer preferences through different data sources. In particular, an understanding of customer preferences for information discovery, consumption and interaction while looking for solutions are key. This kind of data insight helps reach some of the top goals marketers have for using data including a better customer experience and optimizing performance of campaigns. 

“Understanding how to use data to drive to the right client conversations has become the most powerful weapon in a marketer’s toolkit.  Using different types of data – intent data, behavioral data, purchase data – is key to driving engagement and building a demand funnel.  We use data for early …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog